The 17 Best Third Acts In Superhero Movies

·4 min read

One of the biggest complaints about superhero movies is the climactic third act being a bombastic CGI battle that clashes with the rest of the film.

Marvel Studios / Via YouTube

We've all heard the critics slamming these films, especially Marvel, for overly relying on this trope to wow their audiences at the cost of true cinematic quality. While this has been a problem, there have been many cases where superhero movies still stuck the landing with their third acts. And so, here are the 17 best third acts in superhero movies.


17.Doctor Strange

16.X-Men: Days of Future Past

15.Black Panther

T'Challa walking in a Wakandan field with his arms out in the teaser trailer for "Black Panther"

The reason this entry one is ranked so low is because of the clearly unfinished CGI. Nevertheless, Black Panther still wowed audiences with the final battle between T'Challa and Killmonger. Once the rightful king of Wakanda returns to his palace, both men's armies engage in a battle that features all sorts of cool sci-fi and even rampaging rhinos. But this small war ends with Killmonger choosing to kill himself rather than face imprisonment, emphasizing how tragic a villain this character was. At least he got to see the Wakandan sunset.

Marvel Studios / Via YouTube

14.Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

13.Thor: Ragnarok

12.Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Zombie Strange floating with the Souls of the Damned in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness"

This one was weird, even for the MCU. To stop the Scarlet Witch and rescue America Chavez, Doctor Strange possesses the rotting corpse of his dead variant using the Darkhold. As Zombie Strange shambles to the top of Mount Wundagore, he makes a cape out of invading demons to save the day. But like in Strange's first film, the climax doesn't come down to an actual fight. Instead, after some encouraging words, America takes control of her powers and teleports Wanda to her kids in another universe. Seeing how terrified her boys are by her, Wanda finally realizes the error of her ways and decides to destroy every Darkhold.

Marvel Studios / Via YouTube

11.Guardians of the Galaxy

10.Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Gwen, Miles, and Peter wearing their Spider-Man suits inside Kingpin's supercollider in "Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse"

This modern classic has some of the most eye-popping visuals ever seen in a superhero film, and they all reach their apex during the final battle. With Miles finally becoming a full-fledged hero, he joins the other web-slingers in defeating Kingpin and his henchmen inside his supercollider, where cars, buildings, and trains pop out of nowhere like Fourth of July fireworks. This makes for one of the most unique showdowns ever seen in a comic book film, showing audiences how Spider-Verse earned its Oscar for Best Animated Feature.

Sony / Via YouTube

9.Captain America: Civil War

Captain America blocking Iron Man's blast in "Captain America: Civil War"

After Tony learns that Bucky murdered his parents, he goes on a rampage and tries to get revenge on him. As Steve tries to defend his friend, he once again faces Iron Man in a bitter showdown. Unlike most climaxes in the MCU, this final battle is much smaller in scale, as it shows three men fighting each other in a confined space. This allows audiences to focus on the emotional strife between Iron Man, Captain America, and the Winter Soldier. In the end, this battle completed the tear that ripped the Avengers apart for most of Phase 3.

Marvel Studios / Via YouTube

8.Man of Steel

7.The Suicide Squad

Bloodsport firing a cannon at Starro with the rest of the squad behind him in "The Suicide Squad"

When Starro the Conqueror is released from Jotunheim, the Suicide Squad fights the alien kaiju as it rampages through Corto Maltese. Each member of the team gets their moment in the spotlight, with Bloodsport embracing his role as leader to Polka-Dot Man overcoming his trauma and becoming a superhero. But it's after Ratcatcher 2 unleashes all the city's rats and remembers her father's words that this becomes a truly beautiful finale.

Warner Bros. / Via YouTube

6.The Avengers

5.Zack Snyder's Justice League

4.The Dark Knight

3.Avengers: Infinity War

Thanos arriving on Titan in "Avengers: Infinity War"

While many of our heroes face Thanos's army in Wakanda, a handful of Avengers and Guardians face the alien overlord on Titan. Thanos and the Avengers showcase all their amazing powers in the span of a half-hour. But after a long and epic battle, Thanos succeeds in claiming all the Infinity Stones and kills half the universe. No one can forget the shock and horror they felt when they saw their favorite characters vanish before their eyes, making it one of the most chilling endings in cinema history.

Marvel Studios / Via YouTube

2.Spider-Man: No Way Home

1.Avengers: Endgame

Do you agree with this list? Were there any other super third acts that I missed? Please let me know in the comments section below.